How to select for best flavor:
The pear is a fruit that is better if it is picked before it is ripe. Tree-ripened pears are often grainy and lose much of their sweet flavor. This means that you need to buy unripe pears and ripen them at home. Choose pears that are free from cuts, bruises, soft spots and decay.
To ripen pears, keep them in a warm, dark place. They will usually ripen in two or three days. They are ready to eat when they feel slightly soft when gently pressed on the sides or stem end. Pears are very perishable when ripe. Eat them right away or store them in the refrigerator for a day at the most.
Peak of the season:
Pears are generally a fall fruit, but depending on the variety, they are available from late summer all the way through winter. Bartlett’s, also called summer pears, are available from mid-July through November. The most popular winter pear is the Danjou, which is available from October through May.
Pears are a good source of vitamin B1 and potassium. They are also known to stimulate peristalsis in the intestines and there are good for digestive health. An average pear, depending on variety, will have between 85 and 100 calories. (Bosc has the least, Danjou the most.) It will also have about 1 gram of fat and nearly no sodium.
Some of the varieties you will find are:
Bartlett — a pale-green to golden-colored pear, which is often patched with russet and blushed red. Excellent for eating out of hand.
Comice — a large oval-shaped pear with a pale-yellow skin with occasional russet flecks. Conference — a long, dark-green pear with russet patches.
Bosc — a goose-neck-shaped pear with a tapering neck. It has a distinctive dark-yellow or tannish-brown color with russet patches.
Danjou — the same size as a Bartlett but with a shorter neck, giving a distinctive oval shape. The skin is yellowish-green. Asian Pear — a large, round fruit with a pale-yellow skin and a firm scented pulp. This type of pear has a grittier pulp than most of the others.